Marijuana (commonly referred to as weed, pot, reefer, ganja and Mary Jane) can have potentially negative side effects in dogs; however, direct death due to THC intoxication is relatively unlikely.
Pets are unfortunately susceptible to ingestion of marijuana in various forms – from eating an accidental stash, or sneakily stealing adulterated food with THC. When this occurs, prompt veterinary intervention must take place as quickly as possible.
Dogs possess more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than people, which makes them susceptible to getting high when ingesting marijuana. This could happen by indulging in marijuana-infused treats or breathing secondhand smoke when their owner smokes a joint – even in well-ventilated spaces, your pet could still be at risk if they already suffer from respiratory conditions like bronchitis or collapsed trachea.
When dogs reach too high of an altitude, one of the first symptoms you will likely observe is an uncoordinated gait (known as static ataxia by Fleming), in which they appear to stand completely still yet wobble and fall over. Other signs may include hyperactivity, vomiting or drooling and possibly wild-eyed pupils; depression and seizures could even set in and they may even go into coma or die altogether.
If your dog ingests marijuana, it is essential that they receive comforting until the effects of THC wear off – which could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. As they won’t know why they are acting differently than usual, your comforting presence and attention may help your pup to return back to normal until his or her symptoms subside.
Not to worry! Most cases of marijuana toxicity don’t require hospitalization for pets; however, if your pup’s gums turn white or gray and they cannot wake up or breathe easily then contact the vet right away.
Keep your pet from accidentally intaking THC by keeping all marijuana products out of reach and secure containers that cannot be opened easily. In addition, make sure your smoking area is away from any pets and always blow the smoke in the direction of the wind while smoking; to maximize airflow while also decreasing risk exposure of secondhand smoke exposure for your animals.
Cannabis should never be used to get your dog high; however, in certain instances it can be used as a medication to treat pain, anxiety and reduce nausea in pets. If your veterinarian recommends cannabis treatment as part of a treatment plan for your pup’s condition, be sure to follow dosage instructions correctly.
Dogs that ingest marijuana, whether from stolen stashes or edible products containing THC, can get high just like people do when smoking it – however due to their smaller sizes and less careful eating habits they may end up ingesting too much at once and suffering more severe side effects than people do when they do so.
Marijuana poisoning can lead to wobbliness and incoordination, drowsiness, reduced heart rate and blood pressure levels, as well as dilation of pupils and low heart rates and blood pressures. Other symptoms may include excessive vomiting and difficulty breathing – unlike secondhand smoke which typically only impacts respiratory systems – the chemicals from marijuana may linger in both your gut and lungs for prolonged periods of time and may even result in abdominal pain, heart failure or seizure in severe cases.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, immediately contact their vet or visit an emergency room. Be sure to tell the staff what kind of marijuana your pup consumed, how much and when. They’ll want to know his or her weight before possibly running blood or urine tests to monitor organ functions.
Even if your pup only ate a small amount, or is acting sleepy, their veterinarian is likely to advise that you induce vomiting to hasten their detox process. Be careful, however; too frequent vomiting could result in ulcers in their esophagus and aspiration pneumonia (where the dog breathes in his or her own vomit).
If your pet suffers a seizure or has extremely low heart rate and blood pressure, the veterinarian will likely transport them to intensive care unit for intensive treatment. This could include setting them on intravenous fluids to flush out any drugs still present in their system as well as medications from benzodiazepine family to help calm nervous system and reduce risk of further seizures or cardiovascular complications. Depending on how sick your dog is, they may need to stay for multiple days in hospital to recover from THC’s sedating effects while being observed closely for any long term side effects or potential long term side effects that might appear over time.
Pansy Suzuki, a veterinarian at a veterinary emergency center in DC, reports her clinic is receiving more calls about dogs that have consumed marijuana. When smoking marijuana is involved, it can enter through inhalation by nearby animals who breathe secondhand smoke; Pansy said. Even non-smoked cannabis products like edible treats or skin absorption could still pose dangers, increasing Pansy’s caseload since legalization took effect. “I am seeing more cases,” she noted.
Anecdotal accounts exist of canines being lured into eating pot brownies by their nose or snacking on leftover residue from careless stoner’s rolling papers. A recent case involved a dog eating a cotton Q-tip-like device used to clean smoking equipment containing enough THC to impact them; they began trembling and collapsing, so their owner immediately took them to a veterinarian who administered diazepam but nonetheless died due to respiratory failure.
Cannabis intoxication in animals ranges from mild to severe depending on how much THC they ingest or inhale, with symptoms including wobbliness or uncoordination, disorientation and lethargy being some of its hallmarks. Drooling excessively and having dilated pupils are other signs of cannabis overdose while severe cases could even include tremors, seizures and even coma resulting from ingestion.
Pets who have consumed cannabis will usually recover with prompt veterinary attention. Veterinarians will usually use activated charcoal to absorb any remaining THC from the digestive tract before administering fluids to restore blood pressure, electrolyte levels and kidney function. They may also test urine and blood samples for any systemic effects such as tremors or altered blood sugar levels.
Your pet may become lethargic and unconscious after ingesting cannabis, so it’s essential that you remain calm. Take them immediately to a veterinarian. Additionally, to reduce such incidents in future it may be wise to reassess where and how your stash of weed is kept; ensure it’s always safely locked away.
4. Getting High
Dogs consuming cannabis (commonly referred to as marijuana) in any form – be it edibles containing THC, inhaled smoke from pot plants, or eating edibles with THC-laced edibles containing THC or ingestion of the chemical itself – experience similar side effects as human users when getting high. Unfortunately, THC is highly toxic to dogs and can even prove fatal; now that more states legalize recreational sales, dog owners need to understand how marijuana affects their pet, what signs to look out for and what actions should be taken should their pet accidentally consumes or inhales THC-laden product.
Mistakenly leaving marijuana edibles within reach of their pets is a common mistake made by pet parents, often with disastrous results for both owners and animals alike. Marijuana-flavored edibles have strong scents which attract canines who tend to be naturally curious, which increases their likelihood of eating such products that contain THC; when consumed by these pets they could experience any number of side effects including drooling, loss of coordination/balance issues, lethargy, vomiting, involuntary urination/urination issues as well as unconsciousness!
The severity of a dog’s symptoms depends on both how much THC they consume and their size and weight. A large dose can result in seizures while smaller doses may just lead to disorientation, uncooperation and anxiety in dogs. THC is stored in fat cells which means it can take up to 72 hours before its effects have left the body.
Dogs differ from people in that they cannot self-regulate how much cannabis they consume; thus they are at greater risk of overindulging when it comes to edibles and other THC products, especially given their smaller size relative to people. If your dog overdoses on cannabis, seek immediate veterinary help immediately – the vet may administer drugs from the benzodiazepine family to calm and sedate him, fluids to avoid dehydration and medications to control nausea as soon as possible.
THC can be very harmful to dogs, so it is crucial that all edibles or cannabis products are stored out of reach of pets by locking them away in high cupboards and secure containers. Furthermore, you should review where you store your pot as well as review what foods and beverages in your house contain chemicals which could harm dogs such as raisins or chocolate bars – both are toxic for them!